The name Meteos brings fond memories of their former MVP for the Cloud 9 faithful, and now Cloud 9 fans dreams have come true. Meteos joined Cloud 9 3 years ago, in May of 2013 along with other key members Balls, LemonNation, and Hai. In Cloud 9’s first ever split in Summer of 2013 they busted onto the scene going an astonishing 25-3 in the regular season. Meteos was often looked at as the core of this team being their shot caller and typically making the plays early enough in the game in order to snowball themselves in 25 wins and eventually beating out Team SoloMid for the 2013 Summer Split crown. After a 5th place finish at worlds in 2013 Cloud 9 continued to dominate the Spring split of 2014 once again finishing first in the regular season, and beating out Team SoloMid once again to claim their first place prize in the playoffs finals. This would be the last time they won anything in North America.
On July 3rd, 2015 Meteos made the decision to step down from Cloud 9’s starting Jungle and shot calling position. The team had been struggling compared to the success they had in the past. This decision became shocking to not only the fans of Cloud 9 but the entire League of Legends community. Hai took over as the Jungler for Cloud 9 after previously moving to a management position within the organization. In the same year LemonNation also moved to a coaching position within the organization. Although there was clearly going to be a rebuilding period for Cloud 9 in 2015, they added some great pieces in Jensen and Rush. Cloud 9 finished a team worst 7th place in the 2015 Summer Split and even had to go into the relegation/promotion tournament to keep their spot in the LCS alive. This was the darkest time for Cloud 9, and its fans. But 2016 was a new year, and things started to look up.
Meteos never left the Cloud 9 organization as he decided when he stepped down that he would remain as a substitute behind then Jungler Hai, and eventually Rush who ended up taking over for Hai while Hai found himself as the starting support during the 2016 Spring split. Summer 2016 will look very different. Cloud 9 announced yesterday that they’ve moved Hai, Rush, and Balls to their challenger/substitute team, while moving Meteos up to the starting squad and also adding Impact (formerly from SKT T1) from NRG eSports. This move not only practically guarantees a Cloud 9 victory in the NA Challenger Series, but in many eyes creates a team that can compete once again for North America. The wildcard is Meteos. If Meteos can rebound from what he was dealing with in 2015 and become the dominant Jungler he was in years past.
Meteos hasn’t ever quit playing League of Legends, or even left the Cloud 9 organization which bodes will for his chemistry within the team. Adding a former world champion in Impact to take over the top lane for Balls (who is a great player, just not necessarily compared to Impact. Unless Rumble is in the meta, right?!) is a fantastic move that had been rumored for quite awhile up until the announcement yesterday. This team can be great, but with strong teams rising in NA teams like Immortals, TSM, and Team Liquid as well as the 2016 Spring split champion CLG over performing at MSI they still may only be the fifth best team in North America. We predict closer to third, but depending on the synergy of the new squad the sky is the limit.